Welcome to Contrary Frog

Image credit: “Another "Neighbor” by Usonian is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 2.0 There's a Korean folktale about a young frog who never listens to his mother, always doing the opposite of what he's told. Then his mother falls ill and before she dies, knowing her son, she asks him to bury her by the river … Continue reading Welcome to Contrary Frog


I just saw a funny meme on Facebook about a mom teaching her kids to put gas in the car. After the lesson, one kid says, “thanks, but I’m not going to be driving a gas car” and the other kid says, “it’s like that time you taught us how to use a pay phone.” … Continue reading Obsolete

#18 – october 21: lingering covid

I’m wrapping up my covid chronicles with this18th and final installment. Maybe I’ll revisit the topic later, when these pandemic times truly feel behind us. But right now, almost three years in, covid is still here and people are still dying everyday. Most of the world, however, is getting on with it, the booster shots … Continue reading #18 – october 21: lingering covid

#17 – february 8: the tyranny of normal

2019. I look back at photos from that time with a bit of wonder. My 50th birthday celebration at a Chicago restaurant with friends who’d traveled from other cities. Our spring break trip to Korea with my mother. The kids’ birthday parties at one venue or another. Our then-6th grader’s first middle school dance. One … Continue reading #17 – february 8: the tyranny of normal

The myth of white innocence

The system is working as it was designed. What does that mean? As far as I can tell, it means the system is designed to protect the myth of white innocence at all costs. The finger is ever pointed outward, never inward. There is always an other to blame who somehow forced white men’s hands. … Continue reading The myth of white innocence

#16 – september 18: are we “post”?

Clearly not. There was a moment this summer, sometime in June or July when the vaccine became available for kids 12 and over, when there seemed to be a collective unclenching, a sigh of relief as we returned to some limited gatherings indoors and looked forward to a much better school year. People traveled and … Continue reading #16 – september 18: are we “post”?

#15 – august 27: funeral for a hamster

In early April 2020, when we knew lockdown wasn’t going to be for just a few weeks, I posted about our deciding to get a new hamster after my younger son had lost two in quick succession. I wrote then, “Whatever happens, I will be grateful if Potato gets us through this pandemic.” Turns out … Continue reading #15 – august 27: funeral for a hamster

#14 – may 20: bartleby the seventh grader

“Can you keep your camera on during class?” I would prefer not to. “How about catching up on your homework assignments today?” I would prefer not to. “It’s a beautiful day; you should get outside.” I would prefer not to. “Do you want to meet up with a friend today?” I would prefer not to. … Continue reading #14 – may 20: bartleby the seventh grader